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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 22, 2009 6:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More variety is needed in the setlist

OK, wait a minute AW...are you actually serious that 68 "set" set-lists are a limitation or is this tongue in cheek?

Why I oughta (hmmm, how is that spelled anyhow?)...

I was a bit surprised by all the responses above though...truly.

When I was going in the 70s, I literally took space as the most significant indicator of the complete and utter downfall of the band, other than Jerry's singing...seriously. I thought it was a complete waste of time, used by the band members for a break, and to give the drummers something to do, BUT for which (sorry Max!), I felt they failed absolutely and miserably.

I recall someone on here said that CREAM's Wheels of Fire was great EXCEPT for the 20 min drum solo...I would take that or any GBaker solo over anything I ever saw in space from 76-82....

I know this is coming off badly, but if you watched it, at least the few dozen times I saw it, it was so uninspired, so low key, so awkward if you had folks you were introducing to the scene...Think of all the folks that said above it was "good to take a break", but realize we had just DONE that (they took good breaks between sets when I was going, nothing close to legends of the early era playing wise).

Sorry...

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Poster: L.A. Women Date: Apr 22, 2009 2:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More variety is needed in the setlist

Gotta agree with you Tell-not a fan of space at all- but I can listen to 'drums' occasionally and garner a decent amount of pleasure.

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Poster: pigpen_81 Date: Apr 23, 2009 1:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: HOW DARE YOU !

William Tell stated...
"the most significant indicator of the complete and utter downfall of the band, other than Jerry's singing" <----- Am I reading this correctly ? Repeat... "other than Jerry's singing" <---- Let me get this straight.. You're saying here that,.. the most significant indicator (the biggest signpost) of the complete and utter downfall of the band.. (the bottom of the god damn barrel) IE: We can't go any friggin lower than this. OTHER THAN JERRY'S SINGING ?!?!?!?
Mister Tell,... Do you have a PROBLEM with Jerry's singing ?
If so please,..please elaborate and enlighten me as to what it is about his angelic sweet sound that you find offensive ?
I am completely miffed and do not know how to respond nor articulate my bewilderment regarding your post.

Respectfully,
pigpen81

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 23, 2009 7:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: HOW DARE YOU !

Oh my gosh, PP; haven't you been reading my posts or have I not droned on about this lately?

I was of course, a bit over the top in the above (hmmm, I hope the post we are critiquing is still "above"), but here is my nutshell take on the singing:

Jerry peaked in 70; downhill from there. He worked hard at it that year, albums/studio work prove it, etc., etc. Smoking and touring take toll and it just can't keep up...now, does that mean he can't do a fine PegO or CFingers in 75 or maybe even a little later? Of course not...but in general, my primary problem with their decline, is that I "lost" what I loved the most...his voice.

I also feel his guitar playing changed, as we have hashed over and over and over, and I think Bob started talking his way thru songs in about 73, but those are other topics.

Sorry--thought this was old news...been saying it for three years, so all the other folks just ignore me...

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Apr 23, 2009 8:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: HOW DARE YOU !

I would think Jerry's vocal problems any time after 1973 would be obvious.

OK, let's be even more charitable: Pick almost any random show post 1979 and objectively say Jerry doesn't have some problems (again... putting it generously) hitting some of the more difficult notes. The Dead played a lot of tunes that required some serious pipes to hit certain notes (think the harmonic challenges on "Cumberland Blues"....Gotta get down to the Cumberland miiiiiiiiineeeeee...." "spend my tiiiiiiime...")

I mean, I LOVED Jerry's voice for its unique sweetness..no one sounded like him on guitar or in voice...but no way was he a "great" singer. He just wasn't.

and don't even get me started on how he sounded any time past 1983 up til the end.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 23, 2009 8:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: HOW DARE YOU !

You know GC, of course we can't defend him as "classical great" whatever that is (again, where the musically inclined and knowledgeable around here are better equipped than me), BUT the more and more (wasn't I already doing it too much you ask???) I examine an Attics, or RosMFall, or HighT, the more and more I want to place him closer to that category.

I liked RHunter's description as "great american voice" or some such...

I just think as we both do obviously, that you couldn't keep this up with the work effort, the drugs and the smoking especially.

But, in the studio, in 1970--whewww! All three of them did some fine, fine work...also recall DCrosby commenting on how impressed he was, and the folks that said "yeah, they're great, but can't sing" where dead wrong in his view.

And, in spite of myself, J could sound great on some selected songs on some selected nights post 71, for sure...still love PO and CFin from 75...

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Poster: pigpen_81 Date: Apr 23, 2009 10:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: HOW DARE YOU !

Hmm,.. I really hate to cave in twice within a two week period, but... I agree with what you and GC are saying. His vocals did decline although I'm not sure that I agree with the time frame laid out here and I feel it went back and forth at different points in time. Although it was never quite as sweet as it was in the earlier years. Also,.. now that you point it out I do recall you saying before that you felt it peaked in 1970. Just that your phrasing in the above post struck me as dramatic and excessive.
It certainly isn't a voice that can be appreciated by all and does take what I guess you might call a particular ear to enjoy as does most of their music. Part of what I love about Jerry's singing is it's unpolished appearance. Sometimes when he tried to hit the higher notes and cracked it gave me a deep inner smile ;)
Just so you know, my post wasn't meant to be an attack, just a tongue in cheek friendly jab. After rereading it I see it could be interpreted as rather strongly worded and I wanted to define the spirit it was posted in.
so,..to recap : I agree Jerry's voice did deteriorate over time, and I still loved hearing it when it was clear. Bobby's talk through can be most annoying but another part of what of what makes me smile at times and shake my head as you would at a younger brother that's just plain being a goofball. I also see that some of us post a bit passionately at times ;) Also I appreciate your willingness to elaborate, and GC's input.

Hopefully I will not have to concede or reverse myself again for at least a month.
pigpen81

This post was modified by pigpen_81 on 2009-04-23 17:49:03

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Apr 23, 2009 10:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: HOW DARE YOU !

I love it


warts and all, warts and all

the good the bad and the downright ugly

well . . . to be honest I can't listen to much past '83 / '84

And I'm going to the Nassau show and am gonna have a good damn time no matter how many . . . .blah blah blah

;~)

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Poster: pigpen_81 Date: Apr 23, 2009 11:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: HOW DARE YOU !

"warts and all... "

I hear ya loud and clear. My listening habits are stuck in 68-78 mostly. I do however branch off into 80-84 as that's when I did the most of my touring. As far as my side projects listening tastes it all revolves around Jerry... OAITW,RECON,LOM,JGMS,JGJK,JGB.
I hit the 2 Worcester shows and didn't regret any of it,with the exception of my bank account statement after the fact.
Hope you have a Grate time and enjoy the show!,

This post was modified by pigpen_81 on 2009-04-23 18:54:06

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Poster: high flow Date: Apr 23, 2009 11:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: HOW DARE YOU !

I think the voice evolved.

I feel that Jerry's voice was perfect for the material he and Grisman were producing toward the end of Jerry's life.

Perhaps the voice was a bit over the hill(and froggy) to belt out Gimme Some Lovin', but for a classic like The Fields Have Turned Brown, his voice was well.......ideal.

In the end, the voice conveyed wisdom and grit from the years of travel and performance. What more could anybody ask for?

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Apr 23, 2009 11:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: HOW DARE YOU !

His voice was not the same, but I think it worked really well on a number of tunes in the later years. Once again, I'll let the guy currently working with Hunter say it best:

"There's no way to measure his greatness or magnitude as a person or as a player. I don't think eulogizing will do him justice. He was that great - much more than a superb musician with an uncanny ear and dexterity. He is the very spirit personified of whatever is muddy river country at its core and screams up into the spheres. He really had no equal. To me he wasn't only a musician and friend, he was more like a big brother who taught and showed me more than he'll ever know. There are a lot of spaces and advances between the Carter Family, Buddy Holly and, say, Ornette Coleman, a lot of universes, but he filled them all without being a member of any school. His playing was moody, awesome, sophisticated, hypnotic and subtle. There's no way to convey the loss. It just digs down really deep." - Bob Dylan

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Apr 23, 2009 1:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: HOW DARE YOU !

I do love that Dylan quote.

I agree too that certain songs of his just FIt w/that croaky voice, even in the 80's...it's just so hard to defend him as a singer to "outsiders" who can't see/hear what we all loved about him.

sure do miss him, that's fer sure.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Apr 23, 2009 3:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: HOW DARE YOU !

so perfectly stated that eulogy; and i have to chime in here and agree and disagree with WT; yes, his vocals did decline over the years, BUT, i never felt it hampered my enjoyment even one iota when i listened to the JGB or any of the various Garcia projects, in fact, if one can listen to a show as late as 2/26/93 and not be moved, then perhaps that person needs to re-examine their appreciation of Jerry; as for how he sounded with the GD after '72, it doesn't really matter to me since the bulk of my listening is only up to that point; all that follows is more or less dross

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 23, 2009 11:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: BD & HF score! Wait...Coach K benches em anyway!

Yep, certainly you and BD make a good point. Hmmm, since it took two of you, one gets an assist, and the other the deuce. No, foot was on the line, no three...sorry.

Seriously, though, I see just what you're getting at. And when my little sister says I have to listen to an 80s Althea, I can see that.

I am just making crass generalizations, based entirely on my very biased focus on the early era, and esp the early are acoustic stuff that harkens back to his roots.

I do think that whatever it was he had, he was almost singular in that (I know lots of folks say this kind of thing about their singer songwriters, etc.), though that is not necessarily some amazing accomplishment.

I just don't agree with folks that I discuss the SF scene with (nonDEADers) that state categorically "nobody but Balin could sing" and "no one in the DEAD could" as I think he was way above an idiosyncratic singer like Kottke or Dylan, whom you love while knowing they don't measure up, even if we can't say he had classical chops whatever that means...

And I have no idea where this basketball metaphor is leading...

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Poster: august_wst Date: Apr 22, 2009 6:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More variety is needed in the setlist

No it wasn't tongue in cheek. Regardless whether the playing was great, or even if you are effected by the nostalgia factor, they just didn't have a huge song list to draw from back them... that's all I was saying.

I was being kind of funny though. I mean lets face it, you will never be able to satisfy a room full of us picky deadheads.

I mean I personally can't stand anything that came out of the years '76 to '78. I don't say that much in here because I would get flayed alive, but if I had to classify their playing by drug references - '76 -'79 were the shiny sequined coke years and they make my skin crawl. I want the sweaty acid years or the dark heroin jams.

just my 2 cents - flame away

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 22, 2009 6:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More variety is needed in the setlist

Interesting "drug" classification! I think I like that...

Of course, you are right about the set list of 68, if you have to have variety.

I was just hinting that I would never have taken a substitution of a "Space, 1978" for "StSt, June 68" just so I didn't hear another StSt in the fall of 68!?

Meaning, variety is variety, BUT quality trumps it...

So, you probably wouldn't have wanted the variety I just mentioned either...you like the early era, and then what are the yrs you go for specifically vis-a-vis heroin? You actually skip over a few yrs?

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Poster: GennyBenni Date: Apr 22, 2009 6:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More variety is needed in the setlist

Will Tell, I'm wondering how you feel about the "feedback" sections they did so often in those early days. Do you skip them, or do you hear a certain amount of musicality absent in the later "space" excursions?

I personally am not a fan of space, but I AM a fan of feedback, and I think they are very similar in spirit... I couldn't really put my finger on why I like one and not the other.

?

This post was modified by GennyBenni on 2009-04-23 01:55:15

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 22, 2009 6:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More variety is needed in the setlist

Oh yeah, pros and cons...I think there is more complexity to feedback than space...and it involves them all, so I do feel there are differences.

I focus on the one from 6-14-58 as an example; it is short, and obviously transitions into the Eleven, and is something I can listen to regularly.

Now, the original chunk on LiveDead, in isolation, leaves something to be desired...in that respect, it approaches space...but still big differences in my mind.

Nonetheless, like I did with space, I often skipped FBack in listening to shows til this year...

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Poster: august_wst Date: Apr 22, 2009 7:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More variety is needed in the setlist

Yeah, believe it or not even years ago my tape collection went from '65 - '75 then it picked up again in '80 and went until whatever year we were in.

I like variety and I like good playing. I totally agree with you on that stuff. I wouldn't trade a '68 Stephen for a '82 Space for any amount of money. But something tells me that there was a group of head's in '68 going "Awww man, not Dark Star/Stephen AGAIN!"

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 22, 2009 7:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More variety is needed in the setlist

Ha! Yeah, might have been 80s loving Dire in diapers! He might have even yelled out "Freebird!"

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Poster: spacedface Date: Apr 22, 2009 10:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More variety is needed in the setlist

yeah but would you trade a '69 St S for some latter 70s version? Or how about a Throwing Stones-flavored Saint Stephen from '83?

I'd surely trade some St S away for some Drums & Space!

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Poster: Bob Gnarley Date: Apr 22, 2009 11:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More variety is needed in the setlist

Gotta agree with you on the latter day St. Stephens.I Love most all of the versions between '68-'71, but I'm not really moved by the "newer" arrangement (1/22/78 is an exception).
I was fortunate to catch the Hartford one in '83, and that was an incredible experience live- the whole place erupted, but it fell short of those from the early days.
There are many good drums/spaces out there and I can honestly say that a few times in '83-'84 it was my favorite part of the show.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 22, 2009 3:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More variety is needed in the setlist

Yeah, that Jan one is unique...Dire put me onto that, along with Arb, back when I asked in 06, so I have a CD with just that and a few bizarre sounding jams assoc with it...